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He didn’t force others. . .

God is the inventor of free will.  He doesn’t force man to love Him, or obey Him, or respect Him. He could, but He doesn’t. Because He desires sincere devotion as opposed to forced submission. He knows that Forced respect isn’t respect at all; Forced love isn’t love in the least; Forced allegiance is a far cry from loyalty, and Forced religion is bad faith. So He doesn’t force it. To make the point, let’s look at some of His history:

Why would He place the first man and woman in His created Paradise, but place one particular tree off limits? To facilitate free will. Without the tree of life, their obedience would be nothing more than lack of choice. That’s not what He designed.

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47 times in the Old Testament Yahweh exclaims how He wants to be our God, and He wants us to be His people.  He longs for that relationship just as Christ longed for the companionship of His apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane. But He didn’t force it as the Father or as the Son.

Let’s look at Christ, the incarnate Jehovah, a little more closely: Just preceding the beginning of His ministry was a time of temptation. It is found in Matt. 4, Mark 1, and Luke 4. Here we find that Jesus knew the futility of demanding rightful worship from His tempter, Satan, and so He didn’t. But Satan tried to bribe worship.  (Interestingly, this all happened just up the ridge from Jericho, where Jesus met Zacchaeus, and just across the valley from where Moses first looked out upon the Promised Land.)

In Luke 17, Christ healed ten lepers. He neither demanded them to acknowledge who He was beforehand, nor even demanded they thank Him afterward. Because that is not His character.


I submit that there is a pattern here. In Matthew 10, Christ Himself addressed this point:

14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.

He does not direct us to insist, force, aggressively persuade, or even ridicule, taunt, or belittle those who don’t accept the message or agree with our belief. He directs us to let them be. But historically, Christians haven’t done that.

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#politics #democrat #prayer #Christianity #self #LawPolitics #questions #Faith #republican #respect #religion #liberal #conservative

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